Vladimir Lenin's "Imperialism, The Highest Book Report

Length: 10 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Economics Type: Book Report Paper: #27845005 Related Topics: Capitalism, Personal Finance, Monopoly, Banking
Excerpt from Book Report :

He stated that France as a financial capital was richer than Germany and Japan combined.

The rest of the section sees a return to the monopolies and their control over raw materials. Stating how the international monopolies controlled all the material necessary to manufacture and produce goods. He asserts that the monopolies created shortages in areas to keep the public from turning against colonization of other areas when in fact they could have cooperated with agriculture to more than supply the means.

Lenin draws the conclusion that monopolies not only desire the areas of known resources but attempt to acquire resources not discovered yet. Undeveloped land deemed as worthless might someday yield desirability with technological advancements. He states that the financial systems sought to acquire the greatest amounts of land to keep away the chances of competition from the smaller nations or businesses. It is noted the world was divided into two parts the countries owning colonies and the colonies.

He shows how Portugal was a sovereign nation but was also a British protectorate which allowed Great Britain to have access to all avenues within the country. He concludes the section by saying, even though several great countries powers control the majority of the land they are too greatly spread out to be able to maintain authority.

Section VII, "Imperialism as a Special Stage of Capitalism," Lenin starts to draw together what all the previous sections meant. He defines capitalism as free competitive enterprise and goods production. He defines imperialism as monopolies where there are not free competitive industries and everything is owned primarily by formation of syndications and trusts, which with the banking industry controls millions. Finance capital is stated as the monopolies of the banks combined with the monopolies of industry and is the division of the world by the acquisition of new territories. Lenin gives the five basic principles of imperialism, as written in the book, are:

1. The concentration of production and capital has developed to such a high stage that it has created monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life;

2. The merging of bank capital with industrial capital, and the creation, on the basis of this "finance capital," of a financial oligarchy;

3) the export of capital as distinguished from the export of commodities acquires exceptional importance;

4) the formation of international monopolist capitalist combines which share the world among themselves, and

5) the territorial division of the whole world among the biggest capitalist powers is completed. Imperialism is capitalism in that stage of development in which the dominance of monopolies and finance capital has established itself; in which the export of capital has acquired pronounced importance; in which the division of the world among the international trusts has begun; in which the division of all territories of the globe among the biggest capitalist powers has been completed. (Lenin, 1916)

He then reports to the major difference of capitalism and imperialism is the working class. He also states the land acquisitions are strategic military operation vantage points for one country vs. another encase of aggression. Lenin foretells of a day when the world will be part of a one trust or one monopoly. In the book, he states the lack of unity at that time between Germany and Great Britain but shows the unity of the United States and Great Britain. He talks about the situation of the world and the struggle for South America.

Lenin declares the emergence of new imperialist countries such as Japan. He concludes the section discussing the fight between the nations of Europe over the railway systems.

In section VIII, "Parasitism and Decay of Capitalism," Lenin declares that capitalism will slowdown the technological advances of the world by refusing to embrace the new technology or buying it and discarding it. He illustrates this point by telling how a German Company bought the patent of a machine that would revolutionize the bottle making industry only to put the plans out of commission. He declares that even though technology can lead to profits; the characteristics of monopolies are stagnation and decay. He draws on his conclusions that like a parasite, imperialism feeds off the lower classes of people. He states that countries like Great Britain and other powerful countries are...


Countries that once maintained agricultural and manufacturing as a means of survival started catering to the demands of the financier. The rich often take prime agricultural land and convert to usage for sports and pleasure. Immigration of people from low paying countries to the richer nations was noted in this section. The immigrants are used for the poorly paid jobs while the nationalist retain better paying jobs.

In section IX, "Critique of Imperialism," Lenin attempts to clarify his stance on imperialism by stating that the middle class goes along with the monopolies to keep from being denied certain privileges. The lower class or weaker people have started to fight back against the conditions in words but do not attempt further action. He states that a lot of the territories acquired were done so by lies or devious methods. He states that due to the enormous amounts of monetary value the imperialist have no problem in going to war to protect or gain more wealth. Trade with many of the weaker nations would not have been possible without military intervention.

Lenin proclaims that free trade does not exist between the imperialist countries in the smaller countries; it is a matter of who is superior. He shows the connection of loans and the amount of exports to a country. Germany borrowed from Romania and exported a great deal to Romania that year; the next two years the exports dropped to less than half of that year. Only after the Germans got two new loans did the amount of exports climb back up. Other trends like this are discussed in the section. Exports are bound up by loans instead of normal trading.

Lenin states that peaceful alliances between nations grows out of wars and are the basis for wars. He feels the alternating situations are the grounds for the imperialistic relations within the world economy and world politics.

In the final section X, "The Place of Imperialism in History," Lenin breaks down the four principle types of monopoly capitalism as: the birth of monopolies out of the amount of production at the time, monopolies have seized the raw materials sources and increased the power of big capital, monopolies have occurred due to banking, and monopolies have grown out the acquisition of the colonies of the undeveloped countries. Imperialism has lead to the high cost of living in many of the powerful nations. The rapid advancement of imperialism is leading to the decay of nations such as Great Britain.

Lenin states that with the monetary capital, the monopolies can bribe sections of workers and get the allegiance in numerous branches of industry or in the fight of their nation.

He concludes by stating that in time the imperialism will decay and give way to a free system of competition that is fair to all involved.


'Lenin is correct on several aspects such as the creation of the monopolies and the devise to an extent of such monopolies. The government of the United States had to impose legislation to protect business from the monopolies taking total control and still has to watch and monitor businesses to ensure that no one business takes over. Lenin could see the role of big business at a time when must just ignored it.

Lenin gathered his information based on facts he acquired and a lot of his information and conclusions are or became true after he wrote this book. He presented his evidence and conclusions with facts and in a way that was understandable to most people. He was essentially looking out for the working class and the lower classes. Though I feel Lenin had good intentions in his policies regarding socialism and the spreading of the wealth; history shows that due to inexperience of the workers in management, the Socialist ended taking over the companies as being state run. The effect of this was the monopolization of companies under Communist rule. The groundwork done by Lenin in trying to free the people from oppressive rule of the Tsar only lead to the oppressive rule by a dictator.

Still Lenin captured the nature of monopolies in a fair and process manner. There are no arguments that for a while the monopolies created…

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